Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Shrinky Dink Evil Genius

Well, hello there, my fine friend. Ever heard of a little something called a Shrinky Dink? What? No? Well then. You should probably know that they are like the coolest things ever. You draw something on this sheet of plastic, put it in the oven, and voila! You have a tiny miniature. Here's an example:
And then into the toaster oven with him!


And the dinks have been shrinked (shrunk)... So my Shrinky Dink creativity begins. With these dinks of shrink I will make numerous pins to hand out to other lovely exchangers. I really like the pin trading tradition because you start with a blank blazer:

And you end with a full blazer:

This is Mild, my Thai exchange host sister. We presented for our Rotary club Wednesday, July 20th. Sadly, she went home on Monday, July 25th. She will certainly be missed. (To Mild: I LOVE YOU SHARKKYYYYY)
And whenever you meet other exchange students (especially Rotary exchange students) we give each  other pins. Some people make them, some people buy them. Some are pins, others are tokens of a country simply clipped on with a safety pin. The fun thing is getting to show off your full blazer. The not fun thing is getting stabbed with a bunch of pin backs. I wonder how hard it is to get through a metal detector...

So here are my pins that I made to bring with me and hand out and whatnot. There is basically nothing on my blazer right now. We'll change that, shall we?

This one has an evil eye bead on it!
This one has an old man on it!
So exciting stuff, tomorrow is the rebound meeting! I get to see all my crazy awesome exchange outbounds tomorrow and hear from the ones who just got back! I'll have some information I learned from the rebounds up tomorrow and fun stuff.

If anyone noticed, I put a list of links to exchange blogs that I read up on the side bar. I'm quite sure that this list will just keep growing, but for now it's pretty short. I didn't warn you on the list, so here's a warning - SOME OF THE BLOGS ARE NOT IN ENGLISH. (Ie, there is Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish up there... so watch out.)

Hope everyone's having a fantastic summer! I only have about 3 weeks left stateside and then it will be fun times and Turkish delight! (I actually hate Turkish delight, but it went with the sentence...)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What a Haul!

So, today was a Turkish day. My mother and I headed down to Boston for some hardcore college touring and interviewing (Thanks, Brandeis!) and then off to Packard's Corner to indulge in Turkish delight. We went to a fantastic restaurant called Saray and then off to the market. I realize now that I should have taken pictures of the market and what-not, but I guess I'm simply a bad tourist. I'll have to work on this... There's also the Turkish Cultural Center which sadly was closed. The shopkeeper told us about how they have Turkish movie nights and Turkish coffee nights and Turkish classes. Would that I had heard of this earlier I might be better prepared! 

Our waitress at Saray is from Ankara and she knows where I'll be living! She is going back a couple of days before I leave and she said that I can come visit her and meet her family. She also says she's going to kidnap me to go to a Turkish wedding. When we went to the market it was really exciting because I was able to identify different foods for my mom and pronounce things (which is my favorite part of Turkish) and translate random words that I eavesdropped from other people's conversations. I tried to talk to the cashier in Turkish but evidently I'm not exactly up to par yet.

So here's a picture of the random Turkish deliciousness I bought. I got hot red pepper (acı kırmızı biber), halva (tahin helvası), aşure mix, two bars of Turkish Nestle chocolate (which, in my opinion, is far better than any American chocolate ever, simply on principle. It lacks a certain chalky quality which makes it exceedingly amazing.) in dark chocolate with pistachios (fıstıklı) and milk chocolate with hazelnuts (findıklı), grape leaves for making sarma, currants (kuş üzümü), and delicious cookies to have with my çay.

So last Monday my host brother friended me on Facebook and today my host mom did too. My host brother's name is Ilgaz and he will be an exchange student to Brazil. He leaves about 5 days after I get there and he seems really nice. Ilgaz said he'd take me around Ankara and introduce me to his friends so that I'll know some teenagers my age, even if they don't actually go to my school. I'm hoping to be able to email them more or maybe even Skype with them (now wouldn't that help me work on my Turkish?)

Monday, July 11, 2011


"You will never guess what happened yesterday at 3pm EST, OMG.

First off, you should know that apparently screaming and jumping up in down while in a mall is frowned upon. Heavily. Like... no screaming, shouting, jumping for joy, no dancing around and certainly no thanking your sweet heavens for finally sending a sign. I guess my phone is temperamental because it doesn't like to tell me when people call me with important, awesome news. And so I missed the phone call saying where I was going. But voicemail can be just as exciting."

I'm terribly sorry - this should have been posted on July 7th, but for some reason I wasn't able to post and tell everyone everything. So for those who don't know, I bet you'd like to know where I'm going. I'm going to Ankara! (Insert screaming, yelling, hullaballooing, etc. here).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Who Doesn't Love A Mustache?

Hi y'all! So I found this hilarious link on the BBC (Who doesn't love the BBC? Obviously it's like... The place to be... And/or the place for Americans to find the awesomeness that they need.) and I loved it because it made me giggle.

"Moustaches Under Threat" (OMGness, look! I spelled it the British way!!!)

Anyways... no news really today, but I thought I'd take the chance to post something amusing. Also, something that made my mom laugh really hard today because don'cha know, I'm funny as Hell, and whatnot.

Mom: "Did you get news today?"
Me: "Nope..."
Mom: "I was thinking... maybe it would be cool if you get assigned to Adana."
Me: "If I'm in Adana, I might as well call myself a prophetess and go intern for the Oracle*."
Mom: **ROFLcopters** (AKA Bwahahahahahaah x Infinity)

I do apologize, there's quite a bit of parenthetical usage...

*The Oracle at Delphi - go do some research. Study up your myths and get back to me :)
(Here's some help... Don't judge me for my Wikipedic usage >.<)


Monday, July 4, 2011

A Little Kid At Heart

Well... while I'm learning Turkish, I might as well watch some too...

There's a reason I love YouTube. Not just because people (including me) post the most ridiculous things online, but also because people post the most awesome things online!

I can safely say that most children have at least seen some Disney movie - it's one of the most popular things to show children, like, ever. The best part are the songs. They are so catchy that you can't help singing along, and they stay with you a lifetime. The best part is that Disney movies are so famous that they've been translated into different languages... like TÜRKÇE!!! :D

You can tell that I'm a kid at heart because I love Disney songs. :)

Here's a link to a YouTuber who posts the Turkish versions of all the best Disney songs. Sustenance, I tell you, sustenance. This will feed your life force. Trust me.

On another note, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY to all my American buddies! (Actually, I can wish a happy fourth to everyone because all months have at least 4 days... so HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO EVERYONE. And a happy Independence Day, too!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oh, the Aggravation...

When in doubt (or in fits of frustration/anger)...yell loudly in Turkish at the Turkish-teaching software. That's what we call a winning action, folks. AAAAPTAAAAL!!!

I'm gradually gaining momentum with this Turkish learning. In the scheme of things that I'm good at, we can put learning languages up there with playing therapist, navigating high-heel shoes, and falling up the stairs. Tamam, I like languages.

I've always had a knack for picking up the message in what people say, even if I don't speak the language. I can gather what people mean. But I also can quickly pick up words and use them. When I find words I like I will almost always add them into regular conversation - words like obnoxious, serendipitous, and demandatory (I also like making up new words).

I would say that my Turkish-learning is going well. Recently, I spent two two-hour bus rides immersed in my Turkish book and all of this afternoon on my new software. Which brings us full circle to my original point. Evidently, I have learned enough Turkish to yell at my new software, which is good because then no one knows how upset I am. Oh wait... the tone. If you listened to my (ahem) interesting afternoon, you would see a very sick teenage girl sitting on the couch in pajamas yelling 'ne, NE, NE!!!' at her computer. (Part of the software was to repeat after the lovely little man who talks in Türkçe, saying things like 'Bu acil bir durum'* and 'Bir şişe bira, lütfen'*) After a while, the pj-clad girl understands the software and stops yelling and starts muttering what the little man says, hoping this will get her somewhere...

Honestly, some of the things I've learned so far seem a bit useless. I can't exactly imagine myself saying 'İki kişilik bir masa, lütfen. Köşede. Karanlık.'* at any restaurant, whether it was a nice place or not. But we shall see. Teach me, my lovely Turkish things, let me steal the knowledge from your pages and pixels and use it for my own devices. ;D

*This is an emergency
*A bottle of beer, please
*A table for two people. A corner. Dark (Sketch, much?)